Patents by Inventor Boyd Fowler

Boyd Fowler has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200235158
    Abstract: A sensor includes a photodiode disposed in a semiconductor material to receive light and convert the light into charge, and a first floating diffusion coupled to the photodiode to receive the charge. A second floating diffusion is coupled to the photodiode to receive the charge, and a first transfer transistor is coupled to transfer the charge from the photodiode into the first floating diffusion. A second transfer transistor is coupled to transfer the charge from the photodiode into the second floating diffusion, and an inductor is coupled between a first gate terminal of the first transfer transistor and a second gate terminal of the second transfer transistor. The inductor, the first gate terminal, and the second gate terminal form a resonant circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2019
    Publication date: July 23, 2020
    Inventors: Xianmin Yi, Jingming Yao, Philip Cizdziel, Eric Webster, Duli Mao, Zhiqiang Lin, Jens Landgraf, Keiji Mabuchi, Kevin Johnson, Sohei Manabe, Dyson H. Tai, Lindsay Grant, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 10277838
    Abstract: An imaging array and method for fabricating the same are disclosed. The imaging array includes a semiconductor substrate having a plurality of VIS pixel sensors and a plurality of SWIR readout circuits fabricated therein. An insulating layer is deposited on the semiconductor substrate. The insulating array has wells overlying the SWIR pixel sensors. A plurality of SWIR photodiodes are deposited in the wells. Each SWIR photodiode is located in a corresponding one of the wells and is connected by an electrically conducting path with the SWIR readout circuit underlying the SWIR photodiode. An electrically conducting transparent electrode overlying the SWIR photodiodes is connected to each of the SWIR photodiodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Xinqiao Liu, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 10128296
    Abstract: A pixel sensor having a main photodiode and a parasitic photodiode and a method for reading out that pixel sensor are disclosed. The parasitic photodiode also serves the function of a floating diffusion node in the pixel. The pixel sensor is read by first determining the exposure as measured by the parasitic photodiode and then determining the exposure as read by the main photodiode. One of the two exposure measurements is chosen as the pixel output. The main photodiode has a light conversation efficiency chosen such that one of the two measurements will provide a measurement of the exposure over a dynamic range that is greater than that of either the main photodiode or the parasitic photodiode utilized separately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 10123762
    Abstract: An x-ray imaging system and a method for retrofitting existing x-ray generators to allow those generators to be controlled by a digital x-ray imaging system are disclosed. The x-ray imaging system includes an imaging array and an image controller. The imaging array is configured to be positioned within a patient's mouth, the imaging array acquiring an image of the patient's teeth when the patient's head is illuminated with x-rays. The imaging array includes an x-ray dosimeter that provides an x-ray exposure signal indicative of an x-ray exposure received by the imaging array. The image controller is coupled to the imaging array and receives the x-ray exposure signal, the image controller includes a first wireless link that controls an x-ray generator by initiating a pre-programmed x-ray exposure. The wireless controllable switch can be used to replace an existing manually controlled switch in an existing x-ray generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Xinqiao Liu, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 10128286
    Abstract: A pixel sensor having a main photodetector and a parasitic photodiode and a method for reading out that pixel sensor are disclosed. The pixel sensor is read by reading a first potential on a floating diffusion node in the pixel sensor while the floating diffusion node is isolated from the main photodiode. The pixel sensor is then exposed to light such that the floating diffusion node and the photodetector are both exposed to the light. A second potential on the floating diffusion node is then readout while the floating diffusion node is isolated from the main photodiode. After the first and second potentials are readout, a third potential on the floating diffusion node is readout. The main photodiode is then connected to the floating diffusion node, and a fourth potential on the floating diffusion node is readout. First and second light intensities are determined from the readout potentials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Boyd Fowler
  • Publication number: 20180035061
    Abstract: An imaging array and method for fabricating the same are disclosed. The imaging array includes a semiconductor substrate having a plurality of VIS pixel sensors and a plurality of SWIR readout circuits fabricated therein. An insulating layer is deposited on the semiconductor substrate. The insulating array has wells overlying the SWIR pixel sensors. A plurality of SWIR photodiodes are deposited in the wells. Each SWIR photodiode is located in a corresponding one of the wells and is connected by an electrically conducting path with the SWIR readout circuit underlying the SWIR photodiode. An electrically conducting transparent electrode overlying the SWIR photodiodes is connected to each of the SWIR photodiodes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2016
    Publication date: February 1, 2018
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Xinqiao Liu, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 9871065
    Abstract: An image sensor is described having a pixel array. The pixel array has a unit cell that includes visible light photodiodes and an infra-red photodiode. The visible light photodiodes and the infra-red photodiode are coupled to a particular column of the pixel array. The unit cell has a first capacitor coupled to the visible light photodiodes to store charge from each of the visible-light photodiodes. The unit cell has a readout circuit to provide the first capacitor's voltage on the particular column. The unit cell has a second capacitor that is coupled to the infra-red photodiode through a first transfer gate transistor to receive charge from the infra-red photodiode during a time-of-flight exposure. The first capacitor is coupled to the infra-red photodiode through a second transfer gate transistor to receive charge from the infra-red photodiode during the time-of-flight exposure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Chung Chun Wan, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 9741755
    Abstract: An image sensor is described having a pixel cell unit. The pixel cell unit has first, second and third transfer gate transistor gates on a semiconductor surface respectively coupled between first, second and third visible light photodiode regions and a first capacitance region. The pixel cell unit has a fourth transfer gate transistor gate on the semiconductor surface coupled between a first infrared photodiode region and a second capacitance region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Chung Chun Wan, Boyd Fowler
  • Publication number: 20170188987
    Abstract: An x-ray imaging system and a method for retrofitting existing x-ray generators to allow those generators to be controlled by a digital x-ray imaging system are disclosed. The x-ray imaging system includes an imaging array and an image controller. The imaging array is configured to be positioned within a patient's mouth, the imaging array acquiring an image of the patient's teeth when the patient's head is illuminated with x-rays. The imaging array includes an x-ray dosimeter that provides an x-ray exposure signal indicative of an x-ray exposure received by the imaging array. The image controller is coupled to the imaging array and receives the x-ray exposure signal, the image controller includes a first wireless link that controls an x-ray generator by initiating a pre-programmed x-ray exposure. The wireless controllable switch can be used to replace an existing manually controlled switch in an existing x-ray generator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2016
    Publication date: July 6, 2017
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Xinqiao Liu, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 9591275
    Abstract: A hybrid imaging array and method for using the same is disclosed. The image array includes a low-light imaging array and a color imaging array. The two imaging arrays can be utilized separately or in conjunction with one another. The low-light imaging array is optimized for night vision or situations in which the light levels are too low to allow a conventional color image to be formed by the color imaging array. The color imaging array is optimized for daylight or color photography. The low-light imaging array can be utilized in conjunction with the color imaging array to provide a color image with reduced noise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Xinqiao Liu, Feng Xiao, Boyd Fowler
  • Publication number: 20170018582
    Abstract: A pixel sensor having a main photodetector and a parasitic photodiode and a method for reading out that pixel sensor are disclosed. The pixel sensor is read by reading a first potential on a floating diffusion node in the pixel sensor while the floating diffusion node is isolated from the main photodiode. The pixel sensor is then exposed to light, such, that the floating diffusion node and the photodetector are both exposed to the light. A second potential on the floating diffusion node is then readout while the floating diffusion node is isolated from the main photodiode. After the first and second potentials are readout a third potential on the floating diffusion node is readout. The main photodiode is then connected to the floating diffusion node, and a fourth potential on the floating diffusion node is readout First and second light intensities are determined from the readout potentials.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2014
    Publication date: January 19, 2017
    Inventor: Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 9426390
    Abstract: A pixel cell and imaging arrays using the same are disclosed. The pixel cell includes a photodiode that is connected to a floating diffusion node by a transfer gate that couples the photodiode to the floating diffusion node in response to a first gate signal. A shielding electrode shields the floating diffusion node from the first gate signal. An output stage generates a signal related to a charge on the floating diffusion node. In one aspect of the invention, the photodiode is connected to the floating diffusion node by a buried channel, and the shielding electrode includes an electrode overlying the channel and positioned between the transfer gate and the floating diffusion node. The shielding electrode is held at a potential that prevents charge from accumulating under the shielding electrode when the floating diffusion is at the second potential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 9425233
    Abstract: An image sensor is described. The image sensor includes a pixel array having a unit cell that includes visible light photodiodes and an infra-red photodiode. The visible light photodiodes and the infra-red photodiode are coupled to a particular column of the pixel array. The unit cell has a first capacitor coupled to the visible light photodiodes to store charge from each of the visible light photodiodes. The unit cell having a readout circuit to provide the first capacitor's voltage on the particular column. The unit cell having a second capacitor that is coupled to the infra-red photodiode through a transfer gate transistor to receive charge from the infra-red photodiode during a time-of-flight exposure. The unit cell has a back-drain transistor coupled to the infra-red photodiode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: GOOGLE INC.
    Inventors: Chung Chun Wan, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 9412782
    Abstract: A pixel sensor having a main photodetector and a parasitic photodiode and a method for reading out that pixel sensor are disclosed. The pixel sensor is read by reading a first potential on a floating diffusion node in the pixel sensor while the floating diffusion node is isolated from the main photodiode. The pixel sensor is then exposed to light such that the floating diffusion node and the photodetector are both exposed to the light. A second potential on the floating diffusion node is then readout while the floating diffusion node is isolated from the main photodiode. After the first and second potentials are readout, a third potential on the floating diffusion node is readout. The main photodiode is then connected to the floating diffusion node, and a fourth potential on the floating diffusion node is readout. First and second light intensities are determined from the readout potentials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Boyd Fowler
  • Publication number: 20160181298
    Abstract: An image sensor is described having a pixel array. The pixel array has a unit cell that includes visible light photodiodes and an infra-red photodiode. The visible light photodiodes and the infra-red photodiode are coupled to a particular column of the pixel array. The unit cell has a first capacitor coupled to the visible light photodiodes to store charge from each of the visible-light photodiodes. The unit cell has a readout circuit to provide the first capacitor's voltage on the particular column. The unit cell has a second capacitor that is coupled to the infra-red photodiode through a first transfer gate transistor to receive charge from the infra-red photodiode during a time-of-flight exposure. The first capacitor is coupled to the infra-red photodiode through a second transfer gate transistor to receive charge from the infra-red photodiode during the time-of-flight exposure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2014
    Publication date: June 23, 2016
    Inventors: Chung Chun Wan, Boyd Fowler
  • Publication number: 20160181295
    Abstract: An image sensor is described. The image sensor includes a pixel array having a unit cell that includes visible light photodiodes and an infra-red photodiode. The visible light photodiodes and the infra-red photodiode are coupled to a particular column of the pixel array. The unit cell has a first capacitor coupled to the visible light photodiodes to store charge from each of the visible light photodiodes. The unit cell having a readout circuit to provide the first capacitor's voltage on the particular column. The unit cell having a second capacitor that is coupled to the infra-red photodiode through a transfer gate transistor to receive charge from the infra-red photodiode during a time-of-flight exposure. The unit cell has a back-drain transistor coupled to the infra-red photodiode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2014
    Publication date: June 23, 2016
    Inventors: Chung Chun Wan, Boyd Fowler
  • Publication number: 20160181314
    Abstract: An image sensor is described having a pixel cell unit. The pixel cell unit has first, second and third transfer gate transistor gates on a semiconductor surface respectively coupled between first, second and third visible light photodiode regions and a first capacitance region. The pixel cell unit has a fourth transfer gate transistor gate on the semiconductor surface coupled between a first infrared photodiode region and a second capacitance region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2014
    Publication date: June 23, 2016
    Inventors: Chung Chun Wan, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 9374545
    Abstract: A column readout amplifier and imaging array using the same method are disclosed. The column readout amplifier includes a signal amplifier having an amplifier signal output, a first filter capacitor, a buffer amplifier having a buffer amplifier input and a buffer amplifier output, and a switching network. The switching network connects the amplifier signal output to the buffer amplifier input and the buffer amplifier output to the first filter capacitor during a first time period, and connects the amplifier signal output directly to the first filter capacitor during a second time period. The time periods can be of fixed duration or determined by the difference in potential between the input and output of the buffer amplifier. The column readout amplifier can be used in an imaging array to readout columns of pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Boyd Fowler, Hung Do, Xinqiao Liu
  • Patent number: 9253396
    Abstract: An imaging sensor using a novel bit line processing circuit, that circuit, and the method of processing the pixel outputs from an image sensor using that processing circuit are disclosed. The image sensor includes an array of pixel sensors, a signal digitizing circuit, and a digitizing controller. Each pixel sensor generates a voltage signal that is a function of a charge on the photodetector in that pixel sensor, and couples that voltage signal to a bit line in response to a first signal. The signal digitizing circuit is connected to the bit line, the digitizing circuit converting the voltage signal to a plurality of output digital values, the output digital values having selectable levels of digitization noise. The digitizing controller generates the level of noise based on the voltage signal. The signal digitizing circuit includes a variable gain amplifier and an ADC having a fixed number of bits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Peter Bartkovjak, Boyd Fowler, Stephen W. Mims
  • Publication number: 20150156413
    Abstract: An imaging sensor using a novel bit line processing circuit, that circuit, and the method of processing the pixel outputs from an image sensor using that processing circuit are disclosed. The image sensor includes an array of pixel sensors, a signal digitizing circuit, and a digitizing controller. Each pixel sensor generates a voltage signal that is a function of a charge on the photodetector in that pixel sensor, and couples that voltage signal to a bit line in response to a first signal. The signal digitizing circuit is connected to the bit line, the digitizing circuit converting the voltage signal to a plurality of output digital values, the output digital values having selectable levels of digitization noise. The digitizing controller generates the level of noise based on the voltage signal. The signal digitizing circuit includes a variable gain amplifier and an ADC having a fixed number of bits.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2013
    Publication date: June 4, 2015
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Peter Bartkovjak, Boyd Fowler, Stephen W. Mims